Ralph Nader can't seem to get the national media to pay attention to his latest presidential run, so he's seeking advice from someone known for ruffling feathers throughout his eight years in the Salt Lake City mayor's office.
Cardozo, former Mayor Rocky Anderson's parrot, stars with the perennial presidential candidate in a new campaign video that mixes humor with politics on Nader's YouTube Web site, youtube.com/user/votenader08.
In the video, Nader takes time out from the "frantic pace of campaigning" to chat with the bird about the reasons he decided to run for president, as well as to vent about the national media's decision to ignore him, he says, because he's an independent candidate.
"You know, Cardozo, one of the reasons I'm running for president is that I'm tired of all those years where the Democrats and Republicans just keep parroting the corporate, party line," Nader tells the bird.
Reporters paid attention to what he had to say, Nader says, until he decided to run for president.
"National television has just blacked out the Nader/Gonzalez campaign," he says. "I don't know what I have to do."
Using the parrot as a sounding board, Nader considers the idea of dressing up as a panda since all media love animal stories and campaigning at the zoo.
"Sometimes I think I have to dress up as a panda, go over to the zoo and cast some amorous glances at a female panda," Nader says. "What do you think, Cardozo? Do you think that's stretching it a bit?"
The video was filmed at Anderson's home in early August when Nader was in Salt Lake to speak at the University of Utah. As of Tuesday evening, it had been viewed more than 10,200 times since being posted online Sunday.
Rhea Gavry, editor and director of Pleasant View-based Gavry & Monroe Productions, said it's the first in a series of online videos that will feature Nader and the yellow-naped Amazon parrot.
The idea for the video came during a phone call between Nader and Anderson.
"I was talking to Ralph one day, and he heard my parrot in the background," Anderson said. "We started laughing about the possibilities of a dialogue between Ralph and the parrot."
Cardozo's contribution mostly consists of a series of squawks and whistles. Nader's sad musings are accompanied by "Godfather"-like soft piano music.
"Ralph is such an intense, serious-minded person that I think a lot of people lose sight of his deep humanness," Anderson said. "He's got a great sense of humor."
Anderson calls Nader "a really good friend," but he hasn't endorsed his candidacy for president.
"I think third-party candidacies, especially if they're covered by the media, can help force a more relevant political dialogue during the campaign season," he said. "But I would really be upset if any state's Electoral College votes were lost because of his candidacy."
Nader's presidential run as the Green Party candidate in 2000 has been blamed by some for Al Gore's loss to George W. Bush.
"My view is (Nader) has alienated more people because they believe, rightly or wrongly, but for his candidacy in 2000, Al Gore would have been the president," Anderson said. "These eight years have been absolutely disastrous to this county. We can't allow that to happen again."
That said, Nader likely can count on his Democratic friend's vote in November."Given the Electoral College, I probably will vote for him because my vote isn't going to make any difference in (GOP-dominated) Utah," he said. "As usual."